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Why is messy play important?

Sunday 16th May 2021 marks National Children’s Day: a day all about encouraging creativity, supporting development and above all, letting children be children! At Mini-U, we love encouraging little ones to express themselves through stimulating activities like messy play. Messy play engages all of your child’s senses: touch, feel, smell, sound, movement, and it might be easier than you think to create a sensory playground! In support of National Children’s Day this year, we are going to break down some of the reasons why getting messy is crucial to your little one’s development. 

Fine Motor Skills

When children use their fingers to grab, hold, move or squeeze objects, they are developing muscles in their fingers and improving their fine motor skills. Incorporating these movements into your play routines at home will build the foundations for the handwriting skills your child will go on to develop at school. If you’re stuck for fine-motor activity ideas, Play Dough never disappoints! You could encourage your child to create different sizes or shapes, or spell their name using it. Something as simple as asking them to pick up and sort different sized objects will also help to strengthen their hands and fingers.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Encouraging your child to reach, aim and place objects seems like simple tasks to an adult, but it is a vital part of improving their hand-eye coordination. If you fancy doing some hand-eye coordination games in the bath, why not get them to drop a child-friendly bath bomb into the water to see how much it splashes? You could also get them to draw their name on the bathtub sides with our Dunk and Doodle Colourful Liquid Soap. All of these activities are a great way to get your little one engaging their body and brain together.

Language Development

When children play together through messy play, it encourages them to be sociable and interact with each other. If your child is playing in a group, observe them and see how they interact naturally. Having stimulation around them with an activity such as finger painting or building blocks gives them an abundance of things to comment on too! Messy play is also an opportunity to express themselves by saying please and thank you! You could hand the group some different objects (cupboard items will do!) and ask them how it feels – this all helps to prompt practising new words!

Spatial Awareness

Getting your child to play with another child through messy play has an abundance of benefits. A sandpit is a great place to let children interact together in a messy environment: they will begin to learn the importance of respecting each other’s boundaries, sharing toys and taking it in turns. Children can also learn the boundaries of gestures and movement, like not snatching things, or splashing each other.

There are so many ways to get messy at home! The bath is a great place to start – it’s a natural messy wonderland for your child! Here at Mini-U, our bath-time products are designed with discovery and excitement at the core. With this in mind, there are an abundance of ways in which you can make the bath an exciting sensory playground with our products. And remember, National Children’s Month is also about child safety, so make sure that if you are choosing to do messy play in the bath, choose child-friendly bath products and toys.

Browse our range of products today, and get in touch with any questions!